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Headword: *eu)/qumos
Adler number: epsilon,3510
Translated headword: Euthymos, Euthumos, Euthymus
Vetting Status: high
A Locrian of those around Cape Zephyr,[1] who competed in boxing against Theagenes of Thasos.[2] Theagenes defeated him, treating Euthymos insolently.[3] Theagenes, however, was not able to win the wild olive[4] in pankration,[5] having been exhausted by Euthymos.[6] Euthymos won three Olympiads in succession and was crowned, since the Thasian did not stand against him in boxing, but others did.[7] This Euthymos also competed in Temesa against the hero Alybas.[8] Temesa is in Italy, and Odysseus had come there in his wanderings around Sicily. There, one of his sailors, becoming drunk and raping a girl, was stoned to death by the local people.[9] Odysseus, putting no value on his loss, sailed away, but the spirit[10] of the dead man did not release the people of Temesa, coming out against them and murdering them so that they were even eager to abandon their city and leave, had not the Pythia restrained them, declaring that they propitiate the hero[11] by building a sanctuary and each year giving the most beautiful virgin to him for a wife.[12] Euthymos, learning that these rites had been conducted in many years, entered the sanctuary, and seeing the girl, he pitied her. Moreover, entering into passion, he put on his weapons to fight with the spirit. When the spirit came during the night, Euthymos defeated it in combat and drove him out so that he no longer appeared there, and Euthymos married the girl.[13]
Greek Original:
*eu)/qumos, *lokro\s tw=n *)epizefuri/wn, o(\s h)gwni/sato pu\c pro\s *qeage/nhn to\n *qa/sion. kai\ u(pereba/leto me\n o( *qeage/nhs, e)phrea/sas to\n *eu)/qumon, ou) me/ntoi e)n pagkrati/w| labei=n h)dunh/qh to\n ko/tinon, prokateirgasme/nos u(po\ *eu)qu/mou. e)ni/khse de\ *eu)/qumos ta\s e)fech=s *)olumpia/das trei=s kai\ e)stefanw/qh, tou= *qasi/ou mh\ katasta/ntos oi( e)s pugmh/n, a)ll' e(te/rwn. ou(=tos o( *eu)/qumos h)gwni/sato kai\ pro\s to\n e)n *teme/sh| h(/rwa *)alu/banta. h( de\ *te/mesa th=s *)itali/as e)sti/n, e)s h(\n *)odusseu\s planw/menos peri\ *sikeli/an h)=lqen. e)/nqa ei(=s tw=n nautw=n mequ/sas kai\ parqe/non biasa/menos kateleu/sqh u(po\ tw=n e)gxwri/wn. kai\ *)odusseu\s me\n e)n ou)deni\ th\n a)pw/leian qe/menos e)/plei, tou= de\ teleuth/santos o( dai/mwn ou)k a)ni/ei tou\s e)n *teme/sh| a)nqrw/pous e)pecerxo/menos kai\ foneu/wn, w(/ste kai\ w(/rmhsan fugei=n katalipo/ntes th\n po/lin, ei) mh\ h( *puqi/a sfa=s e)pe/sxe, to\n h(/rwa i(la/skesqai te/menos e)rgasame/nous kai\ kat' e)niauto\n th\n kalli/sthn ou)=san parqe/non e)s gunai=ka e)pidido/ntas. tau=ta polloi=s e)/tesi telou/mena puqo/menos o( *eu)/qumos e)sh=lqen ei)s to\ te/menos kai\ th\n parqe/non i)dw\n kai\ oi)ktei/ras, pro\s de\ kai\ e)s e)/rwta e)lqw\n e)neskeua/sato w(s polemh/swn tw=| dai/moni, kai\ au)to\n me\n nu/ktwr e)pelqo/nta e)ni/khse kai\ e)ch/lasen, w(s mhke/ti au)to/qi fanh=nai, th\n de\ parqe/non gameth\n h)ga/geto.
Based on Pausanias 6.6.4-10. See further in notes below.
[1] Locri Epizephyrii was a Dorian city, situated in the sole of the foot of Italy and founded c.700 BCE by East and West Locrians, Lacedaemonians, and slaves. It prospered under an excellent governing system of the Hundred Houses. See generally OCD(4) s.v. (p.854).
[2] Theagenes of Thasos -- whose name is also spelled Theogenes and Theugenes (each meaning "He Who Is Born Of God[s]) -- won at Olympia in boxing (480 BCE) and in pankration (476). He is reported to have won twelve hundred crowns (Plutarch, Moralia 811D) and as many as fourteen hundred (Pausanias 6.11.5). Theagenes evidently craved competition and its distinctions and spent much of his life traveling to contests of every size and importance. Plutarch remarks that "many of them one would consider rubbish" (Moralia 811D-E). Harris, Athletes 116, points out that, in a local or small contest, a boxer or pankratiast of Theagenes' caliber would frighten off competitors who were unwilling to lose disgracefully and so Theagenes could have taken many crowns uncontested, that is, akoniti (dustless, from not having had to enter the contest: alpha 923). At any rate, Theagenes became a wealthy man. See further below, note 6. For pankratiast, see pi 10. On Theagenes (Pausanias 6.6.5-6 and 6.11.2-9) see Harris, Athletes 115-116, and Michael B. Poliakoff, Competition, Violence, and Culture: Combat Sports in the Ancient World (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1987) 121-122.
[3] Everyone knew that boxing cut up the athlete's face and that the chances of success or even being able to compete afterwards in the pankration would be greatly diminished by first entering the boxing. Theagenes, perhaps overreaching himself as was his tendency, impressed the Hellanodikai that he was not serious about pankration and had entered the boxing only to spite Euthymos. See further below, note 6.
[4] See kappa 2161 for "crown of wild olive."
[5] See pi 10 and pi 11 for this contest.
[6] According to Pausanias (6.6.5), "Euthymos won the victory in boxing in the seventy-fourth Olympiad [484 BCE], but things were not meant to turn out the same way in the next games. Theagenes of Thasos, wanting to gain victory in boxing and pankration in these games, defeated Euthymos in boxing, but he did not have the strength to gain the wild olive in pankration, since he had exhausted himself in the fight against Euthymos. For this, the Hellanodikai imposed upon Theagenes a fine sacred to Zeus of one talent and a talent for Euthymos personally, saying that Theagenes seemed to them to have entered the boxing contest as an insult to Euthymos. Hence they condemned him to pay the fine and the money to Euthymos. In the seventy-sixth Olympiad [480 BCE], Theagenes paid in full the money owed to the god [...] and in compensation to Euthymos, he did not enter the boxing. In this Olympiad and in the one following, Euthymos won the crown in boxing." (This passage from Pausanias supports the view that boxing preceded pankration in the order of contests at Olympia.) Given that a talent was worth 6000 drachmas and that the wage for a skilled workman in Athens was a drachma a day, Theagenes was able to pay a fine worth 6000 days' work, that is, ca. 16.4 years. An equal fine was owed Euthymos (Pausanias 6.6.6), which Euthymos forgave on the condition that Theagenes no longer oppose him in boxing. Evidently the glory of an Olympic victory far outweighed a fortune in money. On the value of prizes, see the discussion of the monetary value of the amphoras of oil offered at the Panathenaea (Festival of All Athena) at Athens during the classical period in Young (bibliog. below) 115-127.
[7] (Euthymos first won the boxing at Olympia in 484, lost to Theagenes in 480, and then, with Theagenes out of the picture thanks to their arrangement, won in 476 and again in 472.) Written on the base that supported the statue of Euthymos at Olympia is the inscription: "Euthymos, a Locrian, son of Astykles, I won Olympia thrice, and he set up this statue for mortals to see. Euthymos, a Locrian from Zephyrium, dedicated [the statue]. Pythagoras, a Samian, made [the statue]." The anacolouthon from "I" to "he" perhaps resulted from changes introduced in the inscription to remove the fact that the Locrians had dedicated the statue (J.G. Frazer, Pausanias's Description of Greece, vol. 4.21-22).
[8] Temesa, later known as Tempsa, was located on the western shore of Italy, just north of the "foot". Strabo 6.1.5 and Eustathius (1409 on Homer, Odyssey 1.185, copying Strabo) call the hero Polites. According to Strabo the shrine lay near the city of Temesa and was shaded by wild olive trees. The story in epsilon 3510 of Euthymos' combat with the hero is copied from Pausanias 6.6.7-10: "They say that Odysseus in his wanderings after the capture of Troy was carried to some of the cities in Italy and Sicily and arrived at Temesa with his ships. There one of his sailors, becoming drunk, raped a young girl and was stoned to death for his wrongdoing by the local inhabitants. Odysseus, putting no value on the loss of the sailor, sailed away. The spirit of the stoned man, however, did not let go any opportunity, killing those in Temesa and coming out against those of every age. In regards to this situation, the Pythia in no uncertain terms forbad the Temesans who were eager to flee from Italy from leaving Temesa, but she ordered them to propitiate the hero by setting aside a shrine and building a temple and by giving to him each year the most beautiful of the young women in Temesa as his wife. There was no reason for fear in anything else for them, if they rendered to him as a service what was ordered by the god. Euthymos—for he arrived at Temesa at that time—learned what was happening and desired to enter the temple, and on entering, saw the girl. When he saw her, at first he was moved by pity and then to passion for her. The girl swore that she would marry [literally, live in the same house with] the man who saved her. Euthymos, putting on his weapons, waited for the approach of the spirit. He conquered it in combat and — since he drove it from the land — the Hero [Author, Myth] disappeared, sunk into the sea. There was a splendid wedding for Euthymos, and for the people living there, freedom from the spirit forever." Fontenrose contends that the historical Euthymos attracted "a widespread type of legend which we may call the avenging-hero type" ("The Hero as Athlete," 99) and that the aspect of vengeance, lacking in Euthymos himself, is carried by the daimon/hero. Since the role of hero-athlete was divided between them, the hero is a doublet of Euthymos ("The Hero as Athlete 80). See also idem, Python 101-103.
[9] Public stoning, carried out by all the people, was an execution reserved for transgressions that injured the whole community. It unified the community against a common threat and, as such, the death that it inflicted could not be murder. When Creon [Author, Myth] declares "I will hide [Antigone] alive in a rocky cave" (Sophocles, Antigone 774), it is apparent that he no longer enjoys the support of the community in his treatment of Antigone, a development his son, Haemon, makes known to him (733).
[10] The word translated "spirit" in both Pausanias and the Suda is daimon, a divine entity difficult to comprehend. For Pausanias, the daimon of the dead man seems to be his ghost, a meaning accepted by Frazer (4.24). For a discussion of daimon (pl. daimones), see Burkert, Greek Religion 179-181.
[11] Both Pausanias and the Suda also call the spirit a hero in the sense of a demi-god whose cult became popular in the eighth century BCE. A hero began as a mortal being of either sex whose deeds in life for good or ill were so egregious that those living near the grave believed that he or she continued to have power to influence their lives for good or ill. For this reason the hero had to be appeased, and his or her honor recognized, by sacrifices, marking off a sacred precinct around his grave, and, occasionally, by erecting a monument. Honors paid the hero were to appease his/her anger and to direct his/her powers to the benefit of the community. On hero cults, see Burkert, Greek Religion 203-208.
[12] The rites ordered by the Pythia seem to have a two-fold purpose. The cutting apart of the shrine and building of the temple are intended to appease the hero's anger over Odysseus' neglect of his dead body. While at Circe's house on the island of Aiaia, another of Odysseus' men was killed and his body left unburied when Odysseus sailed off to consult with Tiresias in Hades. Elpenor's ghost (his psyche) meets Odysseus in the underworld and pleas with him for burial which, Odysseus performs on returning to Aiaia (Homer, Odyssey 10.551-560; 11.51-80;12.8-15): "We quickly cut trees where the peak jutted up the highest, and, grieving, we performed funeral rites, weeping generous tears. But when the dead man was burned and the dead man's weapons, heaping up mound and drawing the grave marker upon it, we fastened on the peak of the mound a well-fitted oar" (Homer, Odyssey 12.11-15). One cannot say what Alybas knew, but those who told the myth of Odysseus' treatment of Alybas surely knew how Odysseus had treated Elpenor's corpse and could imagine that difference as a reason for Alybas to be angry. Odysseus had departed, but the Temesans were available and had, in any case, incurred the anger of Alybas' spirit of their own accord. The second rite, that of giving Alybas the year's most beautiful girl to be his wife (Greek gyne, "woman" used regularly for "wife"), attempts to civilize the rapist by limiting his sexual predations to one woman. The woman protects the women of Temesa by mediating between them as wives and as rape victims in that she is a Temesan woman who is given over to a rape in the guise of a marriage. Unlike a bride who dies a symbolic death as a virgin in her wedding night, the girl in the temple dies an actual death as a rape victim, a doubly savage act. By driving off the hero, Euthymos re-erects the difference between rape and marriage and, by marrying the woman, reintegrates her from her social and spatial marginality as victim in the temple into the adult status as wife in her husband's house.
[13] Pausanias (6.6.10) says that he heard that Euthymos reached extreme old age and, avoiding death, departed from men in another way. Aelian (Varia Historia 8.18) reports that "they say Euthymos went down to the River Kaikinos, which lies before the city of the Locrians, and vanished." This river, some say, and not Astyles, was Euthymos' father (Pausanias 6.6.5). A voluntary disappearance into fresh water reverses involuntary disappearance into salt water. For Fontenrose ("Hero as Athlete," 81), the common disappearance of Euthymos and the hero is an indication of their unity.
Walter Burkert, Greek Religion. Translated from the German by John Raffan. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985
Bruno Currie, "Euthymos of Locri: a case study in heroization in the classical period," Journal of Hellenic Studies 122 (2002): 24-44
J.G. Frazer, Pausanias's Description of Greece. Vol. VI: Commentary on Books VI-VIII. London: Macmillan and Co. and New York: The Macmillan Company, 1898. Reprint. New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1965
Joseph Fontenrose, Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and Its Origins. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1959
Joseph Fontenrose, "The Hero as Athlete," California Studies in Classical Antiquity 1 (1968): 73-104
H.A. Harris, Greek Athletes and Athletics. Indiana and London: Indiana University Press, 1966
David C. Young, The Olympic Myth of Greek Amateur Athletics. Chicago: Ares, 1985
Keywords: aetiology; athletics; biography; botany; chronology; gender and sexuality; geography; mythology; religion; women
Translated by: Wm. Blake Tyrrell on 20 February 2002@21:30:10.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented bibliography and keywords; cosmetics) on 22 November 2002@09:37:35.
David Whitehead (added primary note; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 24 January 2008@06:42:43.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 7 November 2012@03:51:17.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 3 August 2014@08:45:02.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 7 January 2015@00:49:23.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 22 February 2015@00:45:13.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 25 February 2016@03:04:17.
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